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Five Best Residential Originators

BB&T ranked as best retail originator

Nov. 12, 2009

By MortgageDaily.com staff


The new owner of Colonial Bank nabbed the title of best mortgage originator. Four of the top five firms were involved in an acquisition since the last ranking. Despite improved standings for the top two firms -- borrower satisfaction with the origination process has fallen when considering all retail firms.

Overall borrower satisfaction fell from 757 on a 1,000-point scale last year to 739 in the 2009 Primary Mortgage Origination Satisfaction Study released today from J.D. Power and Associates. The findings were based on responses from 3,400 borrowers who had originated a mortgage in the prior 12 months. The surveys were conducted in July and August.

Borrowers were less satisfied with the tighter underwriting standards and longer processing times that emerged this year. Average turnaround from application to closing rose to 47 days from last year's 30 days. J.D. Power said higher refinance production and greater scrutiny of loan applications were responsible for the deterioration.

"This increase in turnaround time has a considerable impact on satisfaction, as satisfaction averages only 723 when the time from application to approval takes six or more days, compared with 798 when the process takes less than six days," the report stated.

Also irking 45 percent of those surveyed were requests for more documentation by their lenders.

Lenders saw their satisfaction approval ratings leap from 632 to 793 when they met the time frame they promised.

Lenders who didn't ask for the same information more than once saw scores of 781 versus 643 for lenders who did.

Just 22 percent of those surveyed had an optimal lending experience, the research firm said. Their lenders averaged 862. But lenders who missed at least four of the key practices averaged just 566.

Branch Banking and Trust topped the ranking with a score of 783. BB&T's application process, approval process and closing factors were cited as its strong points. In the 2008 report -- before the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based bank acquired failed Colonial Bank in August from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation -- BB&T was not ranked among the top 10.

Wachovia Corp. scored 781 and ranked as the second-best lender. Last year, Wachovia -- which was acquired by Wells Fargo & Co. on Dec. 31, 2008 -- ranked fifth.

Next was National City Mortgage's 769 score. The Cleveland-based institution was also acquired at the end of last year, by The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. National City was No. 2 in 2008.

Last year's No. 1, SunTrust Mortgage Inc., came in at No. 4 this year with a score of 769. Wells Fargo ranked fifth with a 754 score.

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